Hronis Racing LLC’s Elektrum came with a fast-charging rally in Sunday’s $125,000 Dowager Stakes (G3) at Keeneland and just got up to stick her nose in front of Apple Betty to score under Drayden Van Dyke.
The five-year-old mare ran in the rear of the field early on in the 1 1/2-mile firm turf affair while Robillard set the pace up front through splits of :25.36, :50.14, 1:15.03 and 1:40.92. Elektrum angled out five wide entering the stretch, came out even more when confronted with a wall of horses and took off after Apple Betty, who had grabbed command after stalking close to the early leaders.
Elektrum needed the entirety of the stretch to catch Apple Betty and stuck her nose in front to stop the clock in 2:33.08. Sent off the 5-2 favorite, she returned $7.
Apple Betty was best of the rest, three lengths clear of 49-1 Swear By It who in turn had five lengths to spare on 50-1 longshot Freethinker. Daring Duchess came next and was followed under the wire by Pagie, Oakley Girl, Notte d’Oro, Robillard, Lots o’ Lex and Rachel Wall.
The Dowager is Elektrum’s first victory since taking the John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) in August 2015 at Del Mar and just her second career stakes win. The bay daughter of High Chaparral placed in five other stakes between this race and the Mabee, including last year’s Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) and this season’s Gamely Stakes (G1).
The John Sadler trainee now boasts a 24-5-6-5 record and $536,614 in lifetime earnings.
Bred in Ireland by Sweet Caroline Partnership, Elektrum is out of the Group 3-placed Inchinor mare Carolines Secret. Her third dam is English and French champion Ma Biche.
Elektrum photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography
Drayden Van Dyke, jockey Elektrum, winner:
“(Trainer John Sadler, who was not at Keeneland for the race) just told me to come here and ride a good turf race. (He said) the (race’s 1 1/2-mile) distance is not a problem (for her). Just ride a good turf race and get lucky and we did.
“(My trip) was perfect. I was inside the whole time. I had to pull out midstretch, and she finished the rest of the way herself.”
Brian Hernandez Jr., jockey Apple Betty, second:
“We had a good trip. She stormed home pretty fast after just waiting around. I wish I would have waited a little longer, but I uncovered her a little early and she got run down late. I knew they were going slow (on the front end), but I had my filly cranked down and she was tugging on me pretty good. When I uncovered her, she ran home big but maybe moving a little early cost us.
“Her trainer told me she is a nice filly and to just wait to make a run. They were high on her. I wish we could have won.”
Corey Lanerie, jockey Swear by It, third:
“My trip was good. She was in the back biding her time and when I called on her she gave me a big run. We were lucky enough to thread through traffic and not have much problem. (The fractions on the front end) were OK. In hindsight, I would have liked to have been a little closer but I also might have been in a lot more traffic, too. All in all it was a great effort. She was a longshot and she really came through.”